Business Commitment to the CommunityBack to Winners
Sponsored by Golding Homes
KEY PRODUCT/SERVICE: Food supplier
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 5 plus volunteers
FareShare Kent collects food due to be thrown away by supermarkets and sends it to charities across the county. On average, it saves £7,900 a year on food costs for the organisations it supports. It is working with 110 charities and has delivered 600 tonnes of surplus food since it launched.
The non-profit organisation is self-sustaining through membership fees paid by the charities but does provide food to some smaller charities for free. Turnover reached £105,000 last year and it expects growth of 400% in its first three years of operation.
The majority of its work is done by volunteers in its warehouse, in the office and driving vans. It supplies 30 to 35 tonnes of food a week to care homes, school holiday clubs, homeless shelters, hospices, hostels, community cafes and many more.
Bosses hope to expand the service to cover the whole of Kent, across rural and urban areas. Plans include purchasing a larger warehouse and increasing its number of staff and vans. Business development manager Ian Townsend- Blazier said: “We would also like to find a better way to address child food poverty and hunger during the holidays, for those children who would normally receive a free school meal during term time.
“Children should have access to good nutrition all year round as it will have a big impact on their physical and educational development.”
FareShare Kent, which was the Kentish Express Charity of the Year in 2016, has also had an impact on the environment, diverting food from landfill. It has trained 40 prisoners in a variety of courses. In all, 80 qualifications have been achieved, with 15 prisoners going straight back into work upon release.
The company works alongside sister organisation the Family Food Bank, which gives away food boxes to families.